Today, pet peeve has a double meaning for me. Not only does it apply to our kitten, Amelia, but it also applies to my experience of the blogosphere.

First things first - it is extremely difficult to be in a charitable mood when you are awoken to the feel of kitten claws using your arm as life support from falling off the bed in the middle of the night. Our little miss, who we affectionately call the Kraken, gets incredibly feisty around 3am every night. She chases her tail for several minutes then careens off the bed posts for a few more before scrambling up the window sill to shred our curtains. Luckily, they are made of incredibly thick material for blocking out any light whatsoever, but I think she had made it her personal mission to challenge the manufacturers to a warranty duel.

Well, last night, somewhere between my pillow, my head, and the edge of the bed, Amelia missed her footing. Apparently desperate to continue her shenanigans on top of the bed (trust me, she is no longer afraid of the jump or the fall), she dug every single one of her claws into the side of my arm hanging out from under the pillow and dragged. Yee-ouch!

I guess it is better than my face, though. 

After that, I could not fall back asleep. Not only was I pretty peeved, though she escaped before I could shove her under the covers (which always seems to calm her down), but I was waiting sort of wide-eyed for the next attack, like the commercial of the black panther rescue that one couple uses for a home security replacement. This is why we call her the Kraken.

My other pet peeve of today involves my fellow bloggers.

One of the things I have been working diligently at is connecting with other Milspouses. I am intrigued by what each person has to write about their unique experiences with deployment, moving, reunification, work, family, et cetera. I love it when one blogger mentions another and I can follow the techno-chain of good advice and inspiring life lessons.

Sometimes, however, I get pretty peeved by what I read. For example, it strikes a deep chord with me when I come across Milspouses who chew out other Milspouses. I don't mean in a personal, cat-fight kind of way via comments (like what you might see on Facebook), because honestly I have not come across that (yet). I mean more of the, "So you think you have it hard, well boo hoo and move on" type of posting.

The language that we use and the style of communication through which we employ language is so important to the interpersonal development and personal growth of every single person on the planet. When we take tones of condescension, sarcasm, and we present it in a very brittle, better-than-thou attitude, we are only teaching others to do the same. It is disappointing to see these things happen anywhere on the web, because they are akin to adult bullying, but it's even more frustrating to see it present in the military community.

This is not to say that some of the points Milspouses make aren't true at times.

Let's look at one example: no sex = freedom. I am sure you have seen the shirts out there: "I'm not getting any for your freedom" and things of that nature. Yes, not being able to spend intimate quality time with your spouse or partner is a major sacrifice, but your spouse or partner is making the ultimate sacrifice by putting their life on the line in the name of freedom (and a whole lot of other things I won't go into today). So sure, I agree with the point that such slogans are not wholly accurate and in poor taste.

I am not, however, going to use my blog to bash nameless, hypothetical Milspouses. In my personal opinion, it's disrespectful and distasteful. It really does leave a bad taste in my mouth to see the "Well boohoo!" posts. Besides that, it creates enemies where constructive criticism could create community.

Like any other community, the military community is going to be comprised of a variety of people with both positive and negative attitudes. This is one of those points, though, that I believe deserves a little caution. Whenever you use your blog to rant or rave against another person, you never know how it may impact the other person. While some say it's about "givin' it straight" or "being up front and honest," remember that you can still do both of these things with tact, respect, empathy, honor, and integrity - it's called constructive criticism. The above qualities are what is expected of our service members, so we should do the same. Ideally, these are virtues that everyone, regardless of their community affiliation, should ascribe to.

(Image: WriteFly)